LCHM Fall 2017 - 26

PRACTICE
MANAGEMENT

Compassionate
and

Valuable Healthcare
BY GEORGE A. ARANGIO, MD

A

civil society will care for its poor
Published comparisons of the USA to other
and elderly, its disabled and the
health systems do not compare like countries
mentally ill at the local level. The
and include subjective "value judgments."(7)
silent elephant in the room is the
greater than $700 billion per year of healthcare
Five percent of the U.S. population uses
"inefficiencies" enabled by the Federal governabout $90,000 dollars per person per year, or
ment. (1) "If we treated health insurance the
fifty percent of healthcare dollars. Processes to
same way we treat wages, we would raise about
locally identify and to care for these patients are
$250 billion per year more."(2) I favor local
In 2016, USA National Healthcare Expendi- being developed. Fifty percent of the population
physicians effecting billions of dollars a year of tures (NHE) increased by 5.8 percent, reaching uses about $900 dollars per person per year or
efficiencies to pay for healthcare for the poor and $10,000 per person. The Center for Medicare five percent of healthcare dollars. (8)
elderly, disabled and the mentally ill of all ages. and Medicaid Services predicts Healthcare
expenditures will reach 24% of gross domestic
The 2010 ACA is the law of the land. The
Since 1964 Medicare and entitlement spend- revenue (GDP) in 2024. (5)
Congressional Office of Management and
ing has escalated compounding at 9 percent per
Budget estimates that the ACA has added more
year. In 2010 the Congress enacted the Patient
The World Health Organization (WHO) than $100 billion per year to healthcare expenses
Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA). listed Sweden and Taiwan as examples of quality and "...Insurance premiums are soaring by 25%
The Supreme Court sustained this ACA by healthcare. (6) In the USA we care for the highest on average nationally..." (9) The "individual
defining the "individual mandate" a tax. (3)(4) risk patients and we use expensive technology; mandate" forces more than 17 million healthy
patient access is higher and waiting times and uninsured citizens or their employers to
shorter for elective care than in other countries. buy insurance and enrollees would pay about
Editor's note: This opinion piece reflects the views of the writer, and not necessarily those of the Lehigh County Medical Society.
26 Lehigh County Health & Medicine | FALL 2017



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